Do you have Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Symptoms Of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Common symptoms associated with pelvic congestion syndrome.
- Dull ache or pain in the pelvis or lower back
- Worsening symptoms with standing or during menstruation
- Irritable bladder that makes it hard to control urination
- Discomfort during or after sexual intercourse
- Bulging veins in the inner thighs, butt, vagina and/or vulva
This type of fibroid can also cause excessive menstrual bleeding, prolonged menstrual cycles, clot passing, and pelvic pain due to the additional pressure placed on surrounding organs by fibroid growth.
If you and your healthcare provider determine that you have Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS), it is a good idea to discuss the various treatment options available, including ovarian vein embolization (OVE).
In ovarian vein embolization, an Interventional Radiologist (IR) passes a catheter (small tube) through a vein in the groin or neck using specialized x-ray equipment. Once the catheter is appropriately positioned in the ovarian vein, the vein is blocked using small metallic coils and/or a sclerosing agent (Sotradecol) to seal the vein. This prevents reflux of blood into the pelvis greatly reducing pelvic pain and varices. Once embolization is complete the catheter is removed. The entire treatment typically lasts 1 hour and is an outpatient procedure. Recovery typically takes less than one week. Reported success rates are >85%.
Is Ovarian Vein Embolization Right for Me?
You may be a candidate if:
- You are experiencing pelvic pain and diagnosed with enlarged ovarian veins
- You do not want to take medications which may impact your hormone levels
- You are experiencing side-effects of medications
- You do not want surgery
You do not want the potential risks of surgery
- You are a poor surgical candidate
Ovarian vein embolization is a safe treatment option with low complication rates and like other minimally invasive procedures has significant advantages over conventional open surgery and provided in an outpatient setting with same day discharge.
- Multiple research studies demonstrating significantly improved pelvic pain after embolization
- Same day procedure
- No general anesthesia required
- No risk of hormone changes
- Allergic reaction
- Bruising or bleeding at the puncture site
Vein Stenting Procedure
Vein stenting can be an effective treatment option for some individuals with Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS), particularly when the underlying cause of PCS is venous insufficiency or obstruction in the iliac veins. This procedure is typically performed by interventional radiologists and involves the placement of stents in the iliac veins to improve blood flow and alleviate symptoms associated with PCS. Here’s how it works:
- Evaluation: Before recommending iliac vein stenting, a thorough evaluation is conducted to confirm the diagnosis of PCS and identify the specific venous abnormalities contributing to the condition. This may involve imaging studies like ultrasound, CT scans, or venography.
- Stenting Procedure: During the stenting procedure, a catheter is inserted into the affected iliac vein under imaging guidance. A stent, which is a small, metal mesh tube, is placed in the narrowed or blocked portion of the vein. The stent helps to keep the vein open, allowing for improved blood flow.
- Symptom Relief: By restoring proper venous circulation, iliac vein stenting can alleviate symptoms commonly associated with PCS, such as pelvic pain, discomfort, and swelling.
- Recovery: Iliac vein stenting is a minimally invasive procedure, and most patients can return to their normal activities relatively quickly after the intervention.
It’s important to note that iliac vein stenting is most effective for PCS cases caused by venous insufficiency or obstruction in the iliac veins. Not all individuals with PCS have these specific issues, and the underlying causes can vary. Therefore, a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare provider with expertise in vascular and interventional radiology is crucial to determine the appropriate treatment option.